When I am weary of standing, have exhausted all the little games of keeping still, feeling positively enervated, and hoping for the day to yield to night, I begin to count my blessings. Here at my new home, the Olde Fogie Farm, there are many naturally occurring wonders. Some of my favorites are the littlest of things, like downy chicks racing to keep stride with mother hen; large, wet, warm noses on calves and the frothy milk they dribble while hastily sucking down breakfast, lunch and dinner; the bleating of sheep heading out to pasture; the heaviness of freshly laid eggs when held in the hand. And of course pink doggy tongues panting away the last days of summer. I also like to think of shady garden paths, spring tulips, and diamond-like sparkles on the rippled fishpond. Before this list is exhausted I am smiling effortlessly. Those who pass by are left to wonder what radiant thoughts could be behind such a lovely alabaster complexion.
Yes I do feel absolutely grateful to be here on the farm. What is more, I am very much privileged to have the opportunity to tell the events of the 2003 bed and breakfast season, which I shall pen under the pseudonym of "Ms. Tush E. Bunz." Now, if you came here after mid-July we probably have met, but if you were here before mid-July 2003 I hadn't arrived yet. The fact is until then I had no idea that such a place like this could be awaiting me.
When I first learned of the farm, I was at the Louvre, watching another lovely Paris afternoon pass by. I overheard some pleasant folks say to their companions while strolling by my station, "this statue would look great in that little garden we saw at the Olde Fogie Farm." Now, I've overheard a lot of things throughout the eons, but in the brief moment of their describing the fun that could be had there and at neighboring attractions, I was impelled to learn more of this little farm bestowed with such a curious name. A bit of scenery change would be wonderful! Perhaps I could find a way to get there.
I am a modest statue with a good measure of dignity and charm. However, just who I am is not clearly explained by history. Many museum guests had looked up at me and murmured expressions of "oh, I believe she is Aphrodite's sister," or "she's none other than Bathsheba" or even "this is Helen of Trenton (I think they meant to say "of Troy.") Sadly not all visitors of such an esteemed museum were so insightful. As I am not specifically famous, some visitors looked upon me as ordinary. Further, there were those gawkers who only saw my feminine form beneath a very light dressing gown. And so they stood about waiting for my robe to completely slip down and fully expose my buns! I challenge you to maintain your composure with that sort of look coming at you from behind!
The day's indignities were countered by the kindness of one very thoughtful janitor. After closing time, long after everyone had gone home, this man would move our pedestals about thereby giving us a change of scenery. Sometimes he even moved us into other rooms so that we could visit with the other art. In the morning, he would slip in before everyone else and move us back to our stations. Thanks to him the marble, cement, clay and alabaster people could laugh and cry about the comments of the day - you know, museum goers say the darndest things! I myself particularly enjoyed conversing with a really "marble-ous" handsome statue that wore only a generous-sized fig leaf and a smile. I think the old janitor knew we were a bit soft on each other, for he often arranged us in close proximity.
One morning all this was abruptly reversed. Our beloved janitor fell ill and consequently failed to return in time to see us back to our prescribed spots. On that tragic morning we were discovered scattered about the museum rooms (I myself was found with that handsome man gazing at some lovely impressionistic skylines.) The museum administration, who knew nothing of the janitor's good heartedness, thought it was a criminal prank and immediately assigned plenty of security guards to our gallery. These new guards were overly suspicious of everyone and everything: museum visitor's faces were scrutinized, baggage was checked, hands analyzed. Only those who jumped through enough hoops where allowed to see us. This heavy-handed treatment meant we could enjoy neither the day's visitors nor each other's company.
Naturally, a certain gloom settled on the gallery. I was terribly alone. We could not socialize. I found myself unable to bear the stress of constant high alerts. I wanted to slip off in the night to a quiet Paris garden. I would have done so, but extra heavy-duty locks now secured the windows. It was on this day when first I heard of the farm. With every passing day, I thought more intently of that farm in Lancaster County.
When the kindly janitor returned from his sickbed, he was visibly horrified at the way the gallery had been locked down. Despite our despair, we statues did not think evil of him. Our hearts ached when he passed by with a sad shuffle dusting and polishing under the night watchmen's cold, heavy eye. He tried to explain there was no threat to us. There was nothing amiss; he himself had merely moved the various statues out of the way and into the other gallery rooms so as to thoroughly clean the floors. His words accomplished nothing. We remained under oppression for the time being.
One night while cleaning, he paused and looked at me intently. He said aloud, "You, young maiden, have become the saddest of the statues. For this I feel most responsible. What would bring you some cheer?" My heart stopped. Could this man who loved art and sculpture grant my wish? I didn't waste any time in requesting, "Take me to the Olde Fogie Farm." He nodded his head and moved on.
The next night, he quietly asked, "In what providence is this farm?" On this matter I was uncertain. I could only repeat what they said "Lancaster county, the Amish country." He nodded his head and moved on. Could he find the farm? If so, was it really as wonderful as I dreamed? Was this really happening?
I awaited the following night with great anticipation. But he passed me without saying a word. First I was confused. Then I was convinced of the worst: I was dreaming a nightmare. I wanted to cry, yet couldn't (we statues only animate around those whom we trust.) I bit my lip waiting for the guards to finish their nightly inspections and station themselves in the hallway. They seemed to be taking their sweet time drinking coffee.
A little after the first tears dampened my cheeks, the janitor returned. He had a twinkle in his eye. "Don't cry," he said, "Look! The guards are have dozed off. I brought them coffee prepared in my favorite manner: decaffeinated with nutmeg and Irish Cream." That was not all that he had brought. He set down a heavy bundle out of which stepped a young lady. He smiled as I looked at her and did a double take. She was my height and likewise had an alabaster complexion. She too was clutching at her dressing gown as if it were about to slip down and expose her buns. I did not understand the sight of what could have easily been my twin.
The new statue looked around and seemed to be pleased. "This is definitely it... the big time!" she declared. "No more second rate garden parties for me." Addressing me, she wondered, "And you're the one giving this up? What's wrong with you... cracked?" I was speechless. The janitor motioned to me, "come now, time to go." He helped me off my stand and into the cloth bag. Then he placed the other me on the display stand.
But then she frowned, "Hey, mister, where are the crowds? You said there would be people lined up to see 'moi!'" The janitor gently waved his hands at her, "why certainly mademoiselle! First thing in the morning; just you wait." I did not like her, however, I was beginning to understand what was going on. So I spoke up, "oh believe me, there will be people everywhere - and what is more they'll even take your picture." She began to gush.
With a lively step, the aged janitor carried me past the dozing guard, up the stairs, out of the exhibition hall, and into the night. After a long walk including many twisty turns, we arrived at a small, quaint house. I found myself in a garden the size of a postage stamp. I was urged to get some sleep and then left alone. I couldn't - this was all so exciting. In the dark I could see the walled garden was rather lush with vegetation. I could hear the pleasant gurgle of a fountain. This was all very good and yet it was not the like my vision of the farm. In time I could be content with this, and yet I was a little dismayed. Nevertheless, I was now free.
I awoke to the thud of a heavy wooden crate being set down. The janitor invited me to step into the box along with what looked like dirty onions. He began to cover me in a bit of oilcloth, but then stopped. His face was grave and his voice was stern as he warned me, "Your wish requires a journey that will take you farther than you have ever been. You will pass through many hands and brush with many frightful things. You must be perfectly still." I started to tremble. He softened his voice, "you are very brave to wish for this. I will think of you often." He gently kissed my cheek and then completely covered me. He fastened the lid, picked up the crate and began walking.
The next several days proved to be long and dreary. There were many frightful bumps, thumps and strange noises. I held my composure and tried to be as quiet as possible. I did this all the more so when the lid was broken off my crate. I heard a dog barking. Hands grabbed at me. Light soaked through the cloth and burst upon my face. A puzzled gentleman farmer held me. A Dalmatian licked my nose. The man completely unpacked the box before calling out, "Hey Biz? Look Bizzy, a French tulip bulb company sent you a complimentary statue along with your order." A woman's voice replied, "I didn't order any tulips, at least I don't think so, but then I'll look at my checkbook register. Say now, isn't she a cute little thing - though it looks like her dressing gown is about to slip down at any moment." After a little deliberation, they stood me at a quiet corner.
At long last I was living my wish: awaking to morning revelry by at least seven good crowers, followed by soft mooing, and breathing the smell of freshly mowed hay. The farm guests love me. Biz wasn't so sure of the propriety of a scantily clad young lady. "Think of the impression on the children!" Farmer Tom chuckled about that. He often tells the story of how I arrived in a box of tulips. When repeating Biz's concern he always follows by voicing his opinion, "No way! I like her and she can stay."
To tell you truthfully, there have been some concerned parents. One morning Biz noticed that I was wearing a modest dress. The next day the same guests must have thought it looked like rain, for I was clad with a lovely pink raincoat. Frankly, I was disappointed when they took the stylish pink raincoat along with them.
For all I have gained I do also think of what I have lost. At times, my thoughts go back to the museum. What about the others - especially that handsome statue? Did the janitor tell him where I am? I wish everyday that I will open my eyes to the morning and see a marble-ous smile beaming at me from across the garden path. These thoughts make me a little sad, but I persist in thinking them because I know that wishes can come true. Maybe the Fogies will receive another shipment of French tulips!
I am very happy to live here on the farm. It's really an amazing place with such wonderful guests. They like it and keep sending their friends. So I have plenty of company. I highly recommend a stay here as a gift for people who like adventure, quietude, great hospitality, lovely landscaping, and comfy rooms and suites. Remember, the Fogies look for couples in the wintertime, but folks are welcome to bring the kids when its "green n' great." So if we hadn't met yet, be sure to make plans to come to the farm. And if we did indeed meet, we'll just take up visiting where we left off.
Ms. Tush E. Bunz
Editor's note - I hope you enjoyed the story of Ms. Tush E. Bunz. She is a wonderful addition to the farm family. I hesitate to say how much of her story is concrete. I must admit I've never tracked down when I ordered those tulips.
Looking ahead at the season, I can see a number of you have already made your reservations. If you haven't and you would like to check our guest book, you can do so online at www.oldefogiefarm.com. As usual, we have guests coming from quite a few different places. There is a French gentleman who is coming especially to see our gardens. He was very curious to know if we had recently planted any French tulips. I assured him we have a large number of lovely tulips, and yes some are in fact from France. Funny man, he also asked if we have trouble bringing large luggage into the rooms. I was a little confused due to his accent. Nevertheless, the ever-helpful Farmer Tom found a tape measure and checked the width of the front door. The man seemed satisfied with the answer. I wonder what he's got in his bags?
Till next time, yours naturally,
Farmist Biz Fogie